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SATURDAY

INTO EVERY LIFE A LITTLE RAIN

a little rain must fall...
photos: Cindy Hummel, Barbara Oliver

Moistened, not dampened. Brief showers deepened the campus color palate but seemed to deter no one.


"HEALTHY, WEALTHY AND WISE. AT LEAST WE THINK SO."

My God! This Yale '62 is Superb!
  • "Fortunate" and "grateful" were the words overwhelming majorities of those who took our reunion survey picked as the best way to describe their feelings about their lives.
  • About 55 percent of the 354 classmates who responded said they would vote for Obama as of the time they answered. In the parallel survey of the class of '62 at Smith College, more than 80 percent said that.
  • Fully 89 percent of Yale '62 responders are married, versus 61 percent of the Smith responders. But only 44 percent of us are satisfied with our sex lives.
  • Concerns about family, finances, and the nation have increased.
  • Fourteen people said they earned more than $1 million in 2011.

Marriage? Or not. In Sprague Hall, Al Chambers tells us how we count our blessings while Celine Sullivan of Smith ponders Ivy women's different take on the world.
photo: Phil Proctor



Those were among the key findings of our fourth reunion survey of class opinions, which Al Chambers presented to a solid and enthusiastic turnout early Saturday morning in Sprague Hall. Survey questions were answered by well more than half the classmates for whom we have email addresses. Though responses to multiple choice questions were generally upbeat, classmates revealed somewhat less confidence when they answered open-ended queries; Al and Celine Sullivan, our regular collaborator from Smith, think answers from those who did not participate would have made the results somewhat less positive.

A full write-up, all the sometimes-colorful open-ended responses, and the entire data set, are here. (Click to view).

OLD FARTS, OLD HAUNTS

You can go home again!
photos: Chris Cory, Allan Cunningham, Bill Weeden

You can go home again. Winslow at his former fraternity, unidentified swimmers in front with an assortment of Yale'62s in back, Weeden pointing out where he lived in Berkeley.


TODAY'S DAVENPORT

An account of today's Davenport by Paul Ressinger is here. Apparently, stationery bikes and treadmills are more fun than squash.

A TREASURED MOMENT

You've won!Trophy.
Jon Saari surrounded by people from a younger class who were on a treasure hunt and had to find a member of 1962.
photo: Chris Cory 

AIRING OUT IVY CLOSETS

Five classmates who now are openly gay, 10 other classmates, and five class wives met under the rubric "Hide and Seek: Emerging Gay Lives at Yale in the Eisenhower Era" during Saturday lunch in the Davenport Seminar Room, with Professor of history George Chauncey as a special guest. Bill Nye, the convener, writes: "Chauncey, a pioneer in LGBT studies at Yale and nationally, and the inspiration for our gathering, was a close observer, contrasting the anxiety-ridden college closets of 50 years ago to the gay experience of today's Yale with its slogan, 'One in four, maybe more.'

"The gay classmates frankly described differing levels of self-awareness and homosexual identity, which in those years ranged from the crew member who was clueless to the theater buff who was actively involved in what would be his life partnership. They also recounted varying levels of engagement, isolation and coping strategies. Other classmates and wives offered comments and observations reflecting their own evolving awareness of gay people in their lives. While Yale GALA, the University LGBT alumni/ae group, has sponsored annual all-reunion receptions for decades, this was the first class-specific gay-themed reunion event. As with so many reunion events, 90 minutes seemed barely sufficient."

THE BIGGEST YALE LESSON?
TAKING RESPONSIBILITY


Morning lectureMorning lecture
photos: Barbara Oliver, Chris Cory

"Mean"ies. Left: Lance Liebman addresses "What Yale Means to Me" session. Right: (in order) Jim Gardner, Betsy Rodgers, Bo Rodgers and Clark Winslow muse on the meaning of a Yale education at one of the breakout sessions led by Sherm Cochran.


But what does it all mean? At a mini-reunion in New York months before the reunion itself, the variegated impacts of Yale proved an engaging topic. That gave rise to the reunion's largest single block of organized time except for meals. For some, ideas for the "What Yale Means to Me" sessions on Saturday afternoon were provoked by Lance Liebman's painstaking cull of serious and humorous headlines from the Yale Daily News during our years, presented in the reunion book.

Other thoughts were kicked off by Lance's opening. Drawing from his years as a Yale trustee, Harvard Law professor, and dean of the Columbia Law School, he noted four insights. As he later reprised them in an email:
"1. that the U.S. is different from most other countries and wonderful for finding a way to pay for four undergraduate years that precede specialized study;
2. that today's Yale, happily, is so different from our Yale because of women, a vastly more diverse American student body, and foreign students;
3. that Yale (see the controversial decision to open in Singapore), having moved from being a Connecticut school in the 19th Century to a national school in 20th century, is now and must expand even more into a world university; and
4. that the one thing that functioned for me, my two Yale sons, and my Yale daughter-in-law (the other daughter-in-law is English, with only Edinburgh and Oxford on her c.v.) is the vast array of opportunities a Yale undergraduate experience dangles in front of students, forcing them to make choices and to take responsibility for those choices. Graduating as someone who can make those choices sets up the next 50 years."
Breakout sessions in the seminar rooms of Harkness Hall were then led by facilitators including Bill Reilly and Sherm Cochran. Reports from most groups are not available, but one participant fretted that most participants in his cluster were only minimally conscious of how upper-middle-class we either were to start with or subsequently became. Otherwise, several groups seemed to echo the reunion survey, expressing, as Al Chambers summarized it, a feeling of being "fortunate, including to have been at Yale, and grateful."

THE PRESIDENT SPEAKS

President Levin, then Woolsey Hall
photos: Bob Stokstad, Cindy Hummel

Light and brevity. Many '62ers showed up at Woolsey Hall for President Rick Levin's tightly-packed wrap-up on the state of the university. Part of his crowd may have been drawn by the "celebration of Yale song" that came next. Our Whiffs joined those from other reuning classes in a high-energy, high-goosebumps concert of items from the Yale Song Book. Levin also met with us at our final dinner.


LAST — AND LASTING — CONVERSATIONS

John Livingston shares a mug shot with Handsome Dan
They served us well...
photos: John Livingston, Bill Doying, Barbara Oliver, Chris Cory

Living "blue" At twilight, we dressed up a bit for conversations with old and new friends. The wine was fine, donated by John Livingston (doubtless inspired by Handsome Dan). We did it justice.


Our final class dinner was serenaded by a chorus of those who had sung at Yale, led as ever by the redoubtable John Stewart and performing Yale favorites like "Eli Yale" ("When freshman first we came to Yale...") and "Bright College Years." From his wheelchair, Tom Luckey led the national anthem.

Listening to the speakers
photo: Bob Stokstad


Outgoing officers — our Class Secretary, Jim White, our treasurer, Dave Honneus, and our Corresponding Secretary, Mike Kane — received gifts acknowledging their service to us and to Yale.

The tables down at Davenport were attentive to the announcements (sometimes).

Bob at the microphoneBarbara and BobBob Oliver, an undoubted success on his hands, was applauded by the grateful throng.


Left: Our ringmaster.
Right: Bob & Barb prepare for some well-earned R and R
photos: Barbara Oliver 


WOW! MEN. A LETTER FROM JIM WHITE

Jim in hatOur outgoing Class Secretary Jim White graciously acknowledged the work that went into the reunion and announced our second honorary member. Click here for his message.


Bob Oliver, Larry Lipsher, Mike KaneService with smiles. Oliver at left, Kane at right and Larry Lipsher at center, Chief Deputy Reunion Chairman.
photo: Barbara Oliver   


SECRETARY OF GENEROSITY

Bill Reilly
photos: Mike Kane, Katrina Greer, Barbara Oliver

Reilly, temporarily tieless with Jan Greer's wife Katrina, gets shaped up by Jan to announce a record-breaker of a class gift, then enjoys a well-deserved rest in his chair.

The joy of giving
Throughout the weekend, major donors had sported special lapel pins.


Mainee-mom in natural habitatIt's a Girl!

We missed out on female classmates... 'til now. Our first is Jean McKillop, our founding and current webmaster. Bob Oliver, Jim White and Dave Honneus proposed her for honorary membership, roundly seconded by CorSecs Al Chambers, Mike Kane, and Chris Cory. The reunion class dinner elected her unanimously. She's knowledgeable, adroit, witty, and has gotten to "e-know" a good many of us. Like a great den e-mother, she cares and gives firm advice. As a result we have one of Yale's most readable websites. She couldn't attend reunion because of other work at her DowneastHost firm in Penobscot, Maine, but she says the '62 tie Bob sent, along with a CD of our incomparable Whiffs, "makes me feel like one of the boys."


Last evening at the big event!
photos: Bob Stokstad, Barbara Oliver

And many of us danced to Joe Holmes' terrific band.


WE MAKE NEWS    The East Hampton Star

Our "astonishing" "meaningful bonds" made the papers. One of our wives (well, actually your CorSec's wife) who attended wrote about it in her column for the weekly newspaper she ran for years in the celebrated "Hamptons" on Long Island, The East Hampton Star. Her bemused musings are here.

AFTERWORDS FROM WIDOWS: A "CLASS OF GENTLEMEN"

The class got appreciative notes from widows of deceased classmates. Following a nice Yale tradition, Bob Oliver invited all the widows for whom we have addresses, and sent them copies of our class book. Susie Terry, widow of Max Terry, wrote that "it is very meaningful to know that our lost spouses are remembered and recognized. I was very touched by the class of '62 book. Best wishes to the reunion committee members." Patrice Bell, widow of Jim Bell attended, as did Lee Radsch, widow of Richard Radsch. Lee wrote to "thank the entire class for making me feel welcome and a part of the group. I must admit that I was wondering if I would feel a bit out of place, but once I arrived, it was like being at a wonderful family reunion. I hope everyone realizes how special your class of gentlemen really is." She will be sharing a reunion straw "with Dick's children as an extra sun hat when they come to my pool."

NOW, A MOMENT FOR REFLECTIONS

Reflections
photos: Cindy Hummel


SONGS AND HANDKERCHIEFS


(1:12 min.)     video: Chris Cory


Final comments? Click here.


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